As the business events community gathers in Germany for the 20th anniversary of IMEX Frankfurt, not only is there a focus on reconnecting after being away for two years but on sustainability as well.
IMEX asked all in attendance to take its People and Planet Pledge, consisting of four simple actions including choosing sustainable food options, recycling, and carbon offsetting travel.
IMEX is committed to the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative and will publish its pathway to net zero by the end of 2023. It uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a guide with the help of its sustainability consultants MeetGreen.
“We are committed not only to implementing best practices in event sustainability ourselves but also to using our influence to encourage everyone in our industry to maximize their efforts,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.
Not only is sustainability a focus of education programming at IMEX, but there is the IMEX-EIC People and Planet Village, a nature-inspired experiential area that highlights sustainability best practices.
For those interested in sustainable building design concepts, Kap Europa Messe Frankfurt was the world’s first convention building awarded Platinum Certification by the German Sustainable Building Council. Attendees had the chance to explore this venue in a behind-the-scenes tour.
In turn, many of IMEX Frankfurt’s exhibitors seized the opportunity to promote their sustainability efforts.
Destination Canada announced the launch of its Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan, a first-of-its-kind national program aimed at improving the economic, social, and environmental sustainability practices of business events hosted in Canada. Actionable programs tailored toward the unique Sustainable Development Goals of individual cities will be rolled out to global clients to accelerate the industry’s progress toward net-zero targets.
“Developing and launching sustainable business event programs is not an option anymore. If our industry is to meet net-zero targets by no later than 2050, the entire supply chain must work in partnership to find and implement powerful solutions,” said Virginie De Visscher, Senior Director of Business Development, Economic Sectors, Destination Canada Business Events.
Another IMEX Frankfurt sustainability-focused initiative features the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, which has pledged to plant a tree for every meeting the company hosts at the show. The SEC has an existing relationship with the charity Trees for Life, which it has worked with for the last 15 years, contributing to the growth of 170,000 trees. The SEC, which hosted the globally recognized COP26 conference last year, has also announced its ambition to achieve net zero by 2030.
PROMTUR Panama, the country’s official destination marketing organization, was on hand promoting its new brand, “Live For More,” which focuses on Panama’s culture and biodiversity offerings. Three heritage pillars are featured in this new campaign – its multifaceted culture and ethnic groups, including seven indigenous groups that coexist, biodiversity, and the ocean. Read more about Panama’s sustainable efforts here.
Attendees also gauged their sustainability efforts at the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office booth. Experts from the Sustainable Meetings Berlin initiative will apply 65 measures included in the document Sustainable Guidelines Berlin, which outlines steps for sustainable event planning. These include CO2-friendly arrivals for participants, selecting regional foods for catering, and the use of energy-friendly technology.
Hanse Mondial, the recently appointed ground handler for IMEX in Frankfurt, is managing hosted buyer transfers to and from Messe Frankfurt during the show.
The company has technology at the forefront of its service, with measures including an app to ensure service runs efficiently and sustainably during the three days of the show. The company also offsets its carbon footprint through an extensive tree planting program, with nearly 3,000 trees planted worldwide over the past eight months.